Genetics, pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuation, and the natural aging process are among many factors that can cause the breasts to lose skin elasticity, firmness, and volume. The aesthetic result of these influences typically involves some degree of breast ptosis, or a downward migration of the breasts from their location on the chest wall. For women seeking to minimize the appearance of breast sag and restore the youthful characteristics of their breasts, a breast lift—medically referred to as a mastopexy—may be an effective solution. A breast lift is a cosmetic procedure designed to provide a more youthful breast appearance and body contour by reducing the look of breast sag. For the right patients, this enhancement surgery can reshape and elevate the breasts for improved projection and a rejuvenated overall aesthetic. Dr. Geoffrey Leber, our skilled plastic surgeon, utilizes the “Dermal Wing Mastopexy” technique when performing the procedure to minimize the possibility of recurrent breast sagging and achieve remarkably natural-looking results.
What Can a Breast Lift Do for Me?
A breast lift is designed to raise the breasts to a more youthful position on the chest wall in order to diminish a sagging appearance. This is accomplished by removing excess breast skin and reshaping the remaining tissue for an improved breast shape and contour. The procedure can also reduce the size of the nipples and areolas if desired, as well as restore displaced nipples to a more central location on the breast mound. When approaching a breast lift, Dr. Leber performs the Dermal Wing Mastopexy—an innovative technique that can allow the breasts to have less reliance on overlying skin for support, effectively minimizing the risk of recurrent breast sag.
Who is a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
Ideal candidates for a mastopexy wish to achieve a younger-looking breast contour and have realistic expectations for the aesthetic outcome. The procedure is generally most successful for women with moderate to significant breast ptosis (sag). Generally speaking, breasts that experience sag can be categorized in the following ways:
Degrees of Ptosis
- Grade 1 Ptosis—Breasts are positioned below the inframammary fold; nipples are located at the fold
- Grade 2 Ptosis—Breasts are positioned below the inframammary fold; nipples are located just below the fold
- Grade 3 Ptosis—Both the breasts and the nipples are positioned below the inframammary fold, with the nipples pointing downward and well below the fold
Women whose breasts have undergone physical changes from pregnancy and nursing are usually excellent candidates for a breast lift. In fact, the surgery is commonly performed as part of a Mommy Makeover for those who wish to comprehensively restore a pre-pregnancy figure. Additionally, a breast lift can be a solution for individuals experiencing stretching of the breasts, particularly around the nipples and areola. Dr. Leber can examine your cosmetic concerns and help you determine whether a breast lift can fulfill your aesthetic goals. In some cases, a breast augmentation with a lift can be a more effective procedure to increase the size of the breasts while simultaneously elevating their position.
How is a Breast Lift Performed?
A breast lift is performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. Dr. Leber generally places incisions around the areola to allow minimal scarring and a natural-looking result. The procedure can take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the complexity of your treatment plan.
Dermal Wing Mastopexy
Recognizing the limitations of a traditional breast lift, Dr. Leber developed a procedure that can better support the newly lifted breasts and reduce the occurrence of future breast sag. Conventionally, a breast lift relies on the skin to support the breasts’ new position on the chest wall, inevitably leading to eventual ptosis (hanging or bottoming out) of the breasts as the natural aging process continues and skin begins to loosen. With Dr. Leber’s Dermal Wing Mastopexy technique, the patient’s own tissue is repositioned higher on the chest wall (auto-augmentation). The normally discarded dermis is used as a medial and lateral “dermal wing” that is sutured to its higher position on the chest wall, allowing greater support of the breast, much like an internal bra or sling. This takes much of the tension away from the overlying skin. An immediate improvement in the upper pole fullness is recognized in an otherwise deflated breast, often making placement of an implant unnecessary. Dr. Leber believes this results in a longer-lasting “lifted” aesthetic for the breasts when compared to a traditional mastopexy.
Below are a few cases from our extensive gallery, click here to view more.
What is Recovery Like for a Breast Lift?
After surgery, dressings will be placed over the incisions and a surgical bra may be temporarily worn to aid the healing process. Patients can typically return home on the same day with a friend or loved one. While strenuous exercise should be avoided for approximately three weeks (or whenever cleared by Dr. Leber), work and daily activities can usually be resumed within one to two weeks.
Results from a breast lift can be noticed immediately, but will generally improve as recovery progresses. There may be some post-operative bruising or swelling, but any discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. The final outcome from a breast lift is considered long-lasting, but the effects of gravity and aging will continue. Dr. Leber’s approach has been known to provide a longer-lasting aesthetic result when compared to a traditional breast lift procedure.
A breast lift can be a dynamic way to achieve a younger-looking breast appearance. For more information on this procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.